Aug 19, 2013

Reinstating Design in Science

We are able to draw distinctions between accidents and designs. Dembski, in Chapter 5 of Intelligent Design (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1999), gives a number of scientific ventures as well as real-life examples of how this is true. We are at a point where we have extremely tight criteria for something to qualify as being the product of an intelligent agent. This means we do not need to worry about false positives as we undertake this project (KEY PARAGRAPH):
“There does in fact exist a rigorous criterion for distinguishing intelligently caused objects from unintelligently caused ones. Many special sciences already use this criterion, though in a pre-theoretic form (e.g., forensic science, artificial intelligence, cryptography, archaeology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence [SETI]). The great breakthrough of the intelligent design movement has been to isolate and make precise this criterion.” (Intelligent Design by William Dembski (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1999), page 127.
Once we detect the clear signs of intelligent design, we still have work left to do. For example, we want to know how it was produced, its purpose and even its constraints. Evolution can sometimes stop scientific inquiry where ID trudges on. Consider junk DNA or so-called vestigial organs; these examples demonstrate that ID is not a science stopper.

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